Tag Archives: skull jewelry

The Jewelry Insider

October 29, 2010


(This is a popular older post that seemed appropriate to share again before the Halloween weekend. Be safe and bedazzle, jewelry hounds!)

Most of us associate jewelry with happy occasions like weddings, birthdays and Valentine’s Day. But many folks are wearing jewels these days that symbolize quite the opposite.

Mourning jewelry is apparently all the rage right now, according to TrendHunter, and with vampire chic taking over our pop culture – from Twilight to True Blood – it’s no wonder.

So what is mourning jewelry exactly?

The earliest examples of mourning jewelry were found in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. Black and white enameled heads or skulls were often set into both rings and brooches and worn to signify a period of mourning after the death of a loved one.

The jewelry category reached its height of popularity in England with Queen Victoria after the premature death of Prince Albert in December 1861. Black jewelry soon became a must-have accessory, as thousands of Brits sympathized with their grieving Queen.


In the United States the use of mourning jewelry increased with the outbreak of the Civil War, which included the emergence of hair jewelry – lopped off locks given to loved ones by soldiers who went off to war, often worn as pendants or in closed lockets.


Today, mourning jewelry is making a comeback, with young designers like Anna Schwamborn from London designing a range of styles made with the hair and cremated ashes of loved ones mixed with black bone china. Her “Mourning Objects” collection includes a rosary, necklace and a watch chain tear catcher, among other styles.

So what do you think about this ‘trendy’ jewelry category? Would you wear the remains of your loved one around your neck, for example, or in the form of a ring? Or is the thought of it too morbid to even consider?

I’m curious. Has anyone out there worn mourning jewelry before? Share your story!

Spotlight on Spooky Jewelry

So you weren’t invited to Heidi Klum’s famous Halloween party. Again. That doesn’t mean you have to throw out the bling with the bathwater!

I’m still working on my Kanye West/diamond teeth costume (Heidi? Your loss, sister.), but I hunted down these fun finds to throw in the spooky style rotation in the meantime:

Gemstones Meet ‘The Great Pumpkin’:

Add a splash of orange spice to go with your little black dress – like this Great Pumpkin-esque cocktail ring that could work with many a fall ensemble.

Get Back in Black:

Get in touch with your dark side with some sleek onyx jewelry in any incarnation. And one of those Darth Vader voice boxes.

Kitty Cat Couture:

I’ve had my eye on this cat pendant for a while now. Love the price. Love the chocolate diamonds. Love that it will satisfy my maternal instincts without making too many demands on my personal time.


Skeletal Chic:

You know you have some skull jewelry lying around from your Morrissey-loving goth girl past.  Taylor Momsen didn’t invent this wheel!


P.S. Click here for a fun find you can grab if you had Heidi’s accessory budget. And the stomach to wear possum bones.

One more week ’til Halloween! Got some costume ideas you’d like to share?  Weigh in!

Jewelry Fit for Kings and Queens


Jewelry hounds, you may be the only folks who really understand this next sentiment. You know that moment when the jewelry stars align, and you see a piece of jewelry so perfectly designed – so beautifully crafted – so YOU – that you know it will be forever ingrained on the fashion-obsessed part of your cerebral cortex?

I just had that moment when reviewing the new Dior Joaillerie line – their royal ‘Kings & Queens’ collection by Victoire de Castellane. The jewels feature one of my favorite trends – skulls – in an adorable brooch and ring pair. Yes, you’re meant to buy them as a royal couple! Adorable!


Just look at these little beauties. Can you imagine the gasps as you wear the skull ring to your next big event? Or better yet? Imagine the skulls’ shine as you reach for that orange chicken Lean Cuisine during your next trip down the frozen food aisle. Glamour, people. Glamour.

The collection is made out of diamonds, opal, jade, quartz and obsidian, which along with the skulls symbolizes “eternity”, according to Dior. I’ve not been able to track down price points – which I’m thinking is just as well.

The King and Queen pieces even have cute little names: Queen of Jadélénie and King Opal to name a few.

Sigh.

So have you ever had a jewelry epiphany that rivals my new Dior skull obsession? If so, share the wealth! And what do you think about the royals? You die? Or not your style?